British Tory Leaders Now Look and Sound Like New Deal Democrats

Britain’s Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove speaks during a final general election campaign event in London, England, December 11, 2019. (Hannah McKay/Reuters)
The Conservative Party has never had any principles beyond holding power.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE P olitical parties are protean by nature. It’s difficult to say anything about them that holds true over long periods of time. The Republican Party, for instance, has oscillated between pro-tariff isolationism and free-trade internationalism at fairly regular intervals during its history. Sometimes, however, recurring behaviors within parties persist over time, giving them a distinct flavor and identifiable character that remain consistent throughout their history.

The British Conservative Party is a case in point. At the end of the 19th century, the leader of the Liberals, William Harcourt, made the astute observation that the Conservatives “never yet took up a cause without

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